Bureau of Meteorology signs AU $ 4.7 million asset management agreement with IBM

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The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has undertaken what it called a complete rebuild of its IT systems and related business processes and applications, which are focused on managing security and resiliency risks.

Known as ROBUST, the program aims to secure and strengthen all elements of the Office’s operating environment to provide “continuous availability of essential services that mitigate risks arising from the fragility of the existing ICT environment” .

BoM has been quiet about their project, but tender documents released in August showed that in ROBUST there are five delivery streams that will provide basic technology platforms to the Office, including infrastructure, data and integration, observation network, channels and applications. .

The Bureau aims to improve its collection and use of asset information, looking to IBM to help it take over all asset management under ROBUST as part of the network delivery flow of ‘observations.

See also: Australian government is currently juggling 62 expensive IT projects

A new A $ 4.7 million agreement has been signed with IBM to implement an enterprise asset management platform, hosted on the IBM cloud. The IBM Maximo system is expected to support service delivery and effectively manage office assets.

According to IBM’s head of AI applications, David Small, asset management in the context of the BoM covers everything the office needs to record to support the provision of weather information to businesses and consumers.

“All the things they have to record – people go to the field, routine inspections – how they used to do it was a combination of systems and the idea behind the ROBUST program and to have an asset management system. centralized was to enter a system that can support the management lifecycle of all the physical assets needed to support the business, ”Small told ZDNet.

The IBM Maximo system extracts all this information, organizes it and delivers it in a consistent way for the BoM.

“No matter what asset class you define, Maximo has the ability to manage and support all asset classes. Whether it’s physical assets, buildings, poles and wires, of railways or what we call linear assets, whether its its fleet, not that we need it in Australia, but we also support nuclear assets, ”Small explained.“ Maximo from a perspective of asset management is designed to support all asset classes in the lifecycle. “

The initial contract with BoM is for three years and covers the SaaS offering running on IBM Cloud. The scope of it is called the core platform, which is the core asset management system, designed to improve planning and scheduling.

“It also speaks to the performance of mobile work,” Small said. “So with their asset audits, their inventory, their ability to work, both online and offline, because obviously a lot of their assets across the country are in remote locations. So this is the first phase of what we are doing. “

Small said later phases are planned, but the Maximo system is slated to go live in 2021.

During Senate estimates in October, BoM CEO and meteorology director Andrew Johnson said his agency was entering the third stage of ROBUST, with funding slated for the 2020-2021 budget.

“The third and final installment begins, we are obviously in trade talks with a range of players,” Johnson said at the time, noting that trade talks would end over a period of at least 18 months to two. year. .

In July 2018, IBM signed a five-year agreement with the federal government, granting the multinational A $ 1 billion to become a whole-of-government “technology partner”.

See also: IBM builds on solid history of success with A $ 1 billion government contract

Small told ZDNet from an AI applications perspective, he saw a much higher propensity from state and federal governments for the cloud.

“I would say over the past two years at least 90% of the tenders and tenders I have responded to, a mandatory requirement, not an optional requirement, was that they wanted a SaaS offering run on the cloud, hosted in Australia, ”he said.

Another government entity, the Department of Parliamentary Services, is also implementing an IBM e-invoicing solution.

Treasury has also launched a new electronic invoicing solution, turning to Australian software company TechnologyOne. The new system requires the government entity to pay suppliers within five days.

TechnologyOne said it worked with the Treasury, alongside the Australian Taxation Office, for a year to develop the solution.

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